Plea for lesser charge from Driving While Under Suspension

Moderators: Reflections, admin, hwybear, Radar Identified, Decatur, bend

torontoeh
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined:

Plea for lesser charge from Driving While Under Suspension

Unread post by torontoeh on

I am hoping somebody can help me as this is a serious criminal charge.

I was stopped randomly July 09 and the cop ran my license to discover that back in November 08 it was suspended for non payment of a 60.00 fine related to a speeding ticket. I had forgotten to pay the fine and did not know I was under suspension.

I went for a court date yesterday and spoke with the prosecutor - told him my story and plead that it is my first such offence. I didnt know. It was over a 60.00 ticket which would have been easy for me to pay and that the fine of 1,000 and 6 month suspension was way beyond fair in my circumstances.

The prosecutor offered a lesser charge of driving without a license. This is still a serious charge but the fine is 200 and there is no suspension. This charge will probably still impact my insurance rate.

I have two weeks to take the offer or make a court date. I am wondering if anybody here has had a similar experience or knows the law well enough to advise me.

Do you think there is another lesser charge that I could counter offer to the prosecutor? One that is less severe but would still be reasonable for him to accept? I am pretty confident I could win the case and have the entire charge dropped but I do not want to take that chance. So in two weeks I am going to take a lesser charge...I just wondered if someone knew a better one to ask for??

Thanks a lot!


User avatar
hwybear
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2933
Joined:
Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!

Moderator

Unread post by hwybear on

1st it is not a criminal charge.

Driving under suspension is one of the easiest charges for police to prove: simply on this date and time the driver was suspended. It does not matter if it was a unpaid fine of $20 or $25,000.

Driving with no licence = $260 + surcharge $325.00 (no points)

Consider the lucky part, if you were involved in a collision, even as simple as a "car vs deer" your insurance probably would not have paid a penny towards vehicle repair as you were not licenced to drive.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


torontoeh
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined:

Unread post by torontoeh on

Sounds like you are saying you think Driving with no licence = $260 + surcharge $325.00 (no points) is the best plea I could ever ask for and expect to get.

Is that right?


User avatar
Radar Identified
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2881
Joined:
Location: Toronto

Moderator

Unread post by Radar Identified on

I'd recommend taking the plea offer of Drive With No Licence. It is the best charge you could plead to in this case, unfortunately. Yeah, it will impact your insurance, but Driving While Suspended has, in the past, caused insurers to cancel coverage, more than double premiums or resulted in the driver having to get risk facility insurance. :shock:


User avatar
FiReSTaRT
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 371
Joined:
Location: GTA

Unread post by FiReSTaRT on

Take the plea and next time around make sure you either pay your fines or dispute your charges in court. A 5km/h over ticket will affect your insurance rates as much as a 42km/h over ticket.
What kind of a man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.


User avatar
ticketcombat
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 486
Joined:
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Unread post by ticketcombat on

torontoeh, I'm entering this thread for the "discussion" and I AM NOT suggesting you take a different approach to what everyone else has recommended. They are very knowledgeable and their recommendation is the easiest path to resolving a complex issue.

Now the discussion. Pre-172 street racing and pre-Kanda, Ontario ruled that speeding was an absolute liability offence in London (City) v. Polewsky, 2005. Specifically they examined whether defaulting on a fine raised the possibility of imprisonment. The court concluded that the default proceedings under s69 to suspend a licence were "sufficiently remote" that it would not engage the liberty interests of s.7 of the Charter.

Nova Scotia went the other way in R. v. Sutherland, 1990 where failure to pay the fine leads to imprisonment.

The issue as I see it is a default on payment leads to a licence suspension WITHOUT the driver being aware of it. There are deemed service provisions through the mail. That means you do not know when the court had a hearing, you do not know when they made a decision and for at least seven days you are driving unaware that your licence has been suspended. The penalty for a driving while suspended includes the possibility of imprisonment and therefore this offence is a strict liability charge.

It seems that this "quirk" in the system leads to drivers driving unaware of the suspension and a real possibility for raising a due diligence defence.
Fight Your Ticket!


User avatar
hwybear
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2933
Joined:
Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!

Moderator

Unread post by hwybear on

ticketcombat wrote:The issue as I see it is a default on payment leads to a licence suspension WITHOUT the driver being aware of it. There are deemed service provisions through the mail.

I rarely hear that type (served registered mail) of service, 89% of the time is served personally by officer "X" or 9% served by court.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


User avatar
ticketcombat
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 486
Joined:
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Unread post by ticketcombat on

hwybear wrote:89% of the time is served personally by officer "X"
For a licence suspension for non-payment of a fine??? I've never heard of an officer looking you up to serve you personally. Normally it's a letter in the mail from MTO!
Fight Your Ticket!


User avatar
hwybear
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2933
Joined:
Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!

Moderator

Unread post by hwybear on

ticketcombat wrote:
hwybear wrote:89% of the time is served personally by officer "X"
For a licence suspension for non-payment of a fine??? I've never heard of an officer looking you up to serve you personally. Normally it's a letter in the mail from MTO!
had 2 of these last night.....driver suspended for unpaid fines, please serve notice to driver. So all I do is seize the licence, give them notice in writing of the suspension with a suspension number and the reason. There is no ticket for this as they have not yet been notified, however, they might receive an offence notice for something else. Only thing that they have to hope is that there is another person in the vehicle that can drive, otherwise a tow truck is the option.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


User avatar
ticketcombat
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 486
Joined:
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Unread post by ticketcombat on

It must be a regional thing. I've seen the MTO letters in the mail and I know of people who have been stopped on the road but I have never heard of an officer actually coming to your door to find you.
Fight Your Ticket!


User avatar
hwybear
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2933
Joined:
Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!

Moderator

Unread post by hwybear on

ticketcombat wrote:It must be a regional thing. I've seen the MTO letters in the mail and I know of people who have been stopped on the road but I have never heard of an officer actually coming to your door to find you.
sorry for any confusion....all the ones I have served were at roadside....not going to someone's house.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


mr888
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined:

Unread post by mr888 on

Same thing happened to me last night, driving in downtown TO, cop pulls me over and says my licence is suspended in Ontario for unpaid fines (I have a Quebec licence, but used to live in Ontario), so he gives me a driving under suspended ticket right away, and a notice along with it.. how was I supposed to know my licence in ontario was suspended when I live in Quebec, Aren't they supposed to give just a notice the first time just to notify the driver that there is indeed a suspension?

How should I fight this?


viper1
Sr. Member
Sr. Member
Posts: 502
Joined:

Unread post by viper1 on

ticketcombat wrote:It must be a regional thing. I've seen the MTO letters in the mail and I know of people who have been stopped on the road but I have never heard of an officer actually coming to your door to find you.
They used do it for parking tickets in Toronto and gta.
Sunday mornings they delivered them.
My parents got mad at me about it. lol

Cheers
Viper1
"hang onto your chair when reading my posts
use at your own risk"


mr888
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined:

Unread post by mr888 on

mr888 wrote:Same thing happened to me last night, driving in downtown TO, cop pulls me over and says my licence is suspended in Ontario for unpaid fines (I have a Quebec licence, but used to live in Ontario), so he gives me a driving under suspended ticket right away, and a notice along with it.. how was I supposed to know my licence in ontario was suspended when I live in Quebec, Aren't they supposed to give just a notice the first time just to notify the driver that there is indeed a suspension?

How should I fight this?
Anyone know?


cruzmisl
Member
Member
Posts: 107
Joined:

Unread post by cruzmisl on

Can't have a licence from Quebec and be suspended in Ontario without getting charged. Its illegal. If that were the case everyone would just go to another province and get a new licence.

As far as not knowing about your suspension the courts find, after 7 days of the start date, you are considered served. This means you essentially have no defence to it.

I'd take the no d/l deal and run.






Post Reply

Return to “General Talk”